There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cooper's Hawk

Accipiter cooperii

Medium-sized hawk
Gray-blue upperparts
Reddish-orange bars on underparts
Long, rounded tail with thick,
    dark bands and white tip
Dark cap with paler nape
Thick, yellow legs
Red eyes
Juvenile: (shown below)
Brown upperparts
Brown streaks on breast

Listen to its call.

After photographing the Belted Kingfisher last weekend, I noticed this bird perched in a tree a little further down the road. There were also a number of other birds around. I couldn't believe my luck: two new birds in one location! It wasn't until afterwards that I realized it probably wasn't lucky for the other birds, as they are this hawk's main diet. Now that I think about it, I wonder why they didn't detect any danger? Usually when a hawk flies over our yard, there is a mass exodus.  

The picture below was taken by my husband in our backyard. This bird was banded, as are the majority of Cooper's Hawks in Victoria. The one above, surprisingly, was not.

  Learn more about the Cooper's Hawk.

Additional photo (juvenile):

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